FULLERTON, Calif. - In one of the most respected annual tournaments, the Fresno State softball team couldn't get its offense in gear during two painful losses to No. 4 Washington and the Big Ten's Penn State on Thursday at the Judi Garman Classic.
A sudden cascade blindsided the Bulldogs in the morning game pumped by Washington's late-inning surge to a 10-0 six-inning run-rule victory for the undefeated Huskies (20-0). No. 4 Washington is the nation's only unblemished team.
Fresno State's junior pitcher Michelle Moses had retired the first six Huskies she faced before giving up a single to center field in the third. She and Washington's Kaitlin Ingelsby dueled in a scoreless affair through four innings before Ingelsby belted a solo home run to the left field palm trees at Anderson Family Field to start a two-run fifth-inning rally and push UW ahead 2-0.
Moses was relieved in the fifth by Mackenzie Oakes, who closed the final 1.2 innings in the circle.
Washington piled eight runs on the scoreboard in the sixth for the 10-0 advantage as an infield error and host of defensive challenges plagued the Bulldogs during the frame.
The Dogs returned to action less than two hours later in a contest with the Nittany Lions and Moses was back for her 14th start of the season. The righthanded 2010 All-West Region honoree allowed no earned runs (one unearned) and held Penn State to three hits in her seventh complete game of the year, yet a costly error and defensive miscues stymied Fresno State's valiant effort in a 1-0 loss.
Haley Gilleland, Brooke Ortiz and Andrea Ortega recorded hits for the Bulldogs in each of the day's showdowns. Alexis Lujan smacked a pinch-hit seventh-inning double against Penn State for the Dogs' lone extra base hit of the day.
Moses picked up both losses in the circle and fell to 5-5 this season in 14 appearances.
Fresno State moved to 14-7 after the opening day struggles with four of their seven losses this season by a single run.
The Bulldogs face another Big Ten opponent - Illinois - Friday morning at 11 a.m. and No. 12/14 Texas at 3:30 p.m. before closing tournament play on Saturday morning against No. 5/6 Michigan at 11 a.m. The live statistics of all games can be viewed with Gametracker at www.gobulldogs.com.
"We Are Your Team!" --- After facing top competition all weekend at the Judi Garman Classic, the Dogs return to Bulldog Diamond for a non-conference doubleheader on March 22 with UC Santa Barbara. Fans can purchase tickets by logging on to www.gobulldogs.com, calling 559-278-DOGS or by visiting the Bulldog Ticket Office.
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